Monday Morning @ the Movies (Oct. 31)

This weekend’s big movie surprise wasn’t that “Puss in Boots 3D” debuted as number one … it’s that everyone really liked it, so much so that it might set the Halloween box office record (and take away the record from the SAW movies).

1) PUSS IN BOOTS     ~$33.7 Million Weekend     NEW

No, this is not a sequel to the little seen indie gem “Kinky Boots” about a cross-dressing Black British man who grows up to co-star in “2012” and “SALT.” Critics and audiences alike loved “Puss in Boots”, meaning it might just be a return to the quality of “Shrek” and “Shrek 2” and not the trite awfulness of “Shrek 3” and “Shrek Forever After.” For someone who was heralded as a sexy Latino sensation back in the 1990s, audiences only see Antonio Banderas movies when he’s nowhere on screen. If you look at his IMDB movie history (here), you’ll see most of his films are either failures or animated. 2011, however, might be his comeback, with “Puss in Boots” and “The Skin I Live In”. Spain refused to pick “The Skin I Live In” as its 2012 Foreign Language Oscar nominee, but that’s more because Spain has an embarrassing problem with the Oscar-winning director.

2) PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3         ~$18.5 Million Weekend      (Total $81.5 Million)

I will go on the record that I did not enjoy “Paranormal Activity.” I was not scared, I rolled my eyes more times than I jumped out of my seat, and luckily I was with one of my good friends who agreed with me. That being said, the trailer for the third one looked scary and excellent. That’s probably why it broke a October box office record and will have a huge Sunday and Monday audience. Just to give you an idea of its success: its budget was $5 million and it should bring in $110 million. That’s a nice return on investment.

3) IN TIME       ~$12.0 Million Weekend      (NEW)

Back in our October movie preview (here), I said: “Is this going to be 2011′s “Inception” or 2011′s “The Island” (a supposedly thoughtful (but not) sci-fi Michael Bay movie with a good cast, but horrible writing)? I root for the former, but have no idea.”

Turns out it’s more like “The Island” with reviews trashing it for ruining a great idea. Amanda Seyfried, Justin Timberlake, and Olivia Wilde continue to grace magazine covers, but none can carry a movie. Timberlake has a huge career already, but will we still be seeing Seyfried and Wilde on screen in five years? Or will it be on Cinemax After Dark?

4) FOOTLOOSE          ~$5.4 Million Weekend      (Total $38.5 Million)

Refuse to acknowledge.

5) THE RUM DIARY    ~$5.0 Million Weekend      (NEW)

Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson’s biggest fan, gives it a second try after “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” gained a cult following after being a box office and critical disappointment. I always root for Depp when he leaves the blockbuster “Pirates” world. His best drug movie was “Blow”, and audiences have generally trashed “The Rum Diary”, so maybe he’ll stop his Thompson Trilogy at two films?

6) REAL STEEL        ~$4.7 Million Weekend      (Total $74.1 Million)

7) THREE MUSKETEERS  ~$3.5 Million Weekend      (Total $14.8 Million)

A total bomb of a movie that didn’t need to be re-made just for schlocky 3D imagery.

8 ) IDES OF MARCH    ~$2.7 Million Weekend      (Total $33.5 Million)

The budget remained low despite the A-list cast, but the lack of audiences will affect its Oscar chances. Which is fine, because it’s always good, never excellent. Review here and previewed here.

9) MONEYBALL    ~$2.4 Million Weekend      (Total $67.4 Million)

“Moneyball”, on the other hand, made just enough money to stay in contention for Best Picture. Yes, money shouldn’t matter for Oscar nominees, but it does. See “The Blind Side” as an example and “The Help” (likely nominee this year).

10) COURAGEOUS     ~$1.8 Million Weekend      (Total $28.6 Million)

Jesus saves … the film industry from low profits. With a super small budget, this Christian redemption film will be one of the biggest successes (based on % of money made over money spent) of the year.

ALSO:

14) ANONYMOUS ~ $ 1.0 Million Weekend     NEW

This “Who was Shakespeare?” movie was supposed to get a big release with its big director (two references to “2012” this post!) and critically beloved British cast, but Sony scaled back. Instead, it will remain fairly anonymous to moviegoers.

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